CITES (shamelessly) rejects ban to protect Polar Bears

It is sad how politics are sometimes so evidently manipulated by money that they can be just on-our-face shameless. A proposal to ban the trade in polar bears parts was rejected in CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) by a vote of 42 to 38, with 46 abstentions, on the argument that climate change is a much greater menace to polar bears than the commercial trade on their parts, a trade which kills 800 polar bears every year.

There are currently 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the wild, meaning that by 2050 we might be down to one third of the polar bear population.

Now, you can read the rest of the article here, but there are two points that I would like to underline out of this issue:

1. CITES, congratulations! I guess the failure of this proposal pretty much brings you to just shy of utter meaninglessness. If your purpose is, in fact, to protect endangered species you just failed miserably, all the funding, manpower, work-hours put into your organization seem to have just been wasted away, bent to the power of money.

2. It is clear that these particular politics does not take into consideration the will of the people, since polls pretty much point out that the vast majority of inquirees wishes to ban the trade on polar bear parts as seen on the poll from the article in question (on 18th March 2013, by Care2.com). So we can safely assume, I believe, that once again the whole mechanism of politics is nothing but a farce puppeteered by those in power to give us the illusion of decision, when in fact everything is decided on the level of profit that will ultimately benefit the few that hide behind the curtain.

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It’s hard to decide if you should be pitied for your uncompassionate nature or punished for your endless greed. Time will tell. On the meanwhile, shame on you…

Good News Roundup II

A roundup of the most recent good news to spark a smile unto your day.

In this upbeat Care2.com article by Judy Molland, we read about the story of Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man who accidentally got hold of a Sarah Darling’s engagement ring when she emptied her change purse into his begging cup. Good Mr. Harris held to the ring until she came back for it, earning the friendship of Ms. Darling’s husband which, touched by Mr. Harris honesty, started a fund for him which is now on $167.000 dollars. On the same tone, Pat Wesner was walking along the street when a Brinks truck dropped $11.000 dollars on the middle of the street and continued his journey, utterly unaware. Ms. Wesner immediately called 911 and with the help of a state trooper scooped the money to their cars and delivered it safely to Brinks. Concluding the article, in what seems a Hollywood tale, a woman was absentmindedly walking her dog when she spotted another dog carrying the following message attached to his collar: “Help. Send help. No joke, cannot walk. Medicine not working. Need doctor.” Uncertain where to look she delivered the message to the police which then found a homeless man stranded in a remote area. Quoting from Yahoo News:

“Detective Jen Kolb told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News, “He was absolutely immobile. He was in his camp and couldn’t move from his location. He didn’t have a phone to call anybody. No way to reach out to anybody for help, and he was afraid he was going to die.”

Attaching a note to his trusty friend? A last-ditch effort to contact the outside world. And it worked.

The homeless, but not friendless, man was treated and released from the hospital, and has been reunited with Buddy.”

(read other stories and the full article here)

In an article concerning the environment it’s announced that Shell decided to cancel the drilling of the Alaska Arctic for 2013, a major news for the native animals and environment in general. It’s always nice to know that profit doesn’t always beat common sense these days.

“Shell has announced that it will not conduct offshore drilling operations in the Alaska Arctic this year. The announcement is a victory for millions who called, wrote letters and signed petitions pointing out the extreme risk of a major oil spill, and the scientific data that showed neither Shell nor the government was prepared to respond adequately to such a catastrophe.

Despite much controversy and public outcry, in 2011 the Obama administration gave Royal Dutch Shell the green light to begin drilling for oil in the frigid waters of Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Since then, the petroleum giant has faced unending opposition from the scientific and environmental communities.

Although it’s not a permanent decision, it is a step ahead to prevent incidents such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Disaster on the Gulf of Mexico. The fact of the issue is that we should’t even be using fossil fuel no more, but that’s a whole other story.

(read the full article here)

On United States politics, a bill was approved on The House of Representatives to pass the Violence Against Women Act, preventing future numberless cases of domestic violence and sexual abuse and hopefully saving lives.

“The Violence Against Women Act originally authorized a National Domestic Violence Hotline and federal funding to assist women’s shelters.

Almost two decades on, the version passed on Thursday goes further to authorize funding for victim assistance programs. It will also aid in the prosecution of people accused of domestic violence and sexual assault. The legislation also, for the first time, has provisions to deal with stalking, including the use of spyware and video surveillance equipment.”

(read the full article here)

On another upbeat article that did spark a smile on me: it was found that bird-watching (including observing, feeding and photographing) is now more popular than hunting. Undoubtedly good news for our flying feathered friends everywhere that apparently, nowadays, have to worry less about food and more about their good side for the cameras.

“According to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), over 90 million U.S. residents 16-years-old and up participated in some form of recreation related to wildlife. During that year, 33.1 million people fished, 13.7 million hunted and 71.8 million participated in at least one type of wildlife-watching activity including observing, feeding or photographing fish and other wildlife in the United States.”

(read the full article here)

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” – Mother Teresa